BEST OUTDOORS IN
WDC: C&O Canal (**).
The towpath is used for biking,
walking, and jogging. There are several access points in Georgetown,
including one right by Key Bridge. There is traffic
noise on the first 1/2 mile when the path is close to a busy roadway.
But beyond that first 1/2 mile you get to quite and seclusion. You
can measure your progress by the number of locks you pass. On bicycle
you can go all way to Great Falls, MD, and back in a day.
The full stretch is 185 miles, passing Harper's Ferry,
WV, and ending at Cumberland, MD. Below is a map, courtesy National
Parks, US Department of Interior, of the portion near WDC.
OUT of WDC: Shenandoah National Park
is a pleasant country retreat and
only 1 1/2 hour drive from WDC on Interstate 66.
B&Bs in Front Royal and vicinity make a wonderful base for 2-3 days of
exploring in the area. One of the great attraction of the area is the 500 mile trail system in the national park. Park
headquarters is 10 minutes from Front Royal. The most scenic trails
are about 20 minute drive further into the park. Among other
attractions in the area: antique stores and wineries (see below).
View from Skyline Drive
Late fall colors
Along one of the 500 miles of trails inside
Wineries of Virginia
Virginia is relatively new to wine making. The Jefferson and
Washington estates were known to make wine but the commercial scale
vineyards started much later. The
Farfelu Vineyards was the first to be established in Virginia after
Prohibition. It was started by a WWII fighter pilot, who turned into a
commercial pilot (United Airlines), and then turned into a wine maker.
A visit to the Farfelu vineyards is well worthwhile, both for a scenic
drive and the tasting. Farfelu is near Flint Hill, VA, about
20 minutes driving from Front Royal. There are about a half dozen more
vineyards in the area that can be linked for an afternoon wine tasting tour.
Farfelu was the nickname of the vineyards
Where to eat There are many restaurants in the Front Royal, but with one exception, they are
not remarkable or recommendable. The exception is "Apartment
2G," at J's Gourmet on 206 S Royal Ave (*,$$). Reservation required. Dinner is served in the small and
intimate upstairs apartment and is prixe fixe. You can watch the
chef on closed circuit TV or visit the kitchen to chat with the chef while your
meal is prepared. Excellent, moderately prices wine selection.
If you are going to have one dinner in Front Royal, this is the place to go. Besides Apartment 2G, the locals recommend restaurants in nearby Flint Hill.
Where to sleep in Front Royal
Chester House B&B ($$) is situated
on 2 beautifully maintained garden acres and has many beautiful and unique
antiques inside. Host: Phillip Inge.